About This Item

Share This Item

The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

GCAGS Transactions


Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions
Vol. 27 (1977), Pages 438-438

Abstract: Exploration History of the South Texas Lower Cretaceous Carbonate Platform

T. D. Cook (1)


The search for hydrocarbons in reservoirs of the Lower Cretaceous of south-central Texas has been continuous for more than sixty years. To date accumulations have been found in significant quantities in but four areas: 1) the very shallow fault traps high on the San Marcos arch in Caldwell and Guadalupe Counties, 2) a fault trend stretching across central Atascosa County, 3) a fault trend extending front south-eastern Atascosa County to southern Gonzales County, and 4) a narrow, elongate band extending across the entire area known as the Stuart City reef trend.

Reservoirs which contain the hydrocarbons were deposited in a myriad of environments all related to a broad carbonate shelf covered by an extremely shallow sea. The sea deepened dramatically at the shelf margin parallel to the reef trend. Dolomites contain the accumulations in the fault trends and porosity and permeability are reasonably good. Limestones in the reef trend were seldom extremely porous initially and late cementation has diminished even that porosity making the reservoir of lesser quality.

Oil is the dominant hydrocarbon in the shallow fields, is less dominant in the other fault trends, and is nonexistent in the reef reservoirs. Proved ultimate for the fault trends is about 350 million barrels of oil and one and one-half trillion cubic feet of gas. Reserves for the reef trend's dry-gas reservoirs are difficult to estimate because of highly variable reservoir conditions, but should fall between one and one and a half trillion cubic feet.

Intensity of exploration decreases from late Lower Cretaceous to older rocks. The Sligo Limestone still holds the promise of success but lies at considerable depths over much of the area. Edwards and Glen Rose rocks are more densely explored but there are ample opportunities for new plays even in these formations. Geologists who examine cores and cuttings, determine depositional patterns, understand modern carbonate sedimentology, and study patterns of diagenesis will have an advantage in developing new concepts for exploration.

End_of_Record - Last_Page 438-------


(1) Shell Oil Company, Stratigraphic Services, Houston, Texas

Copyright © 1999 by The Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies